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Fontaine family papers

Fontaine family papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Fontaine family papers
Creator: Fontaine family
Inclusive Dates: 1822-1947
Bulk Dates: 1830-1890
Language(s): English
Extent: 1 Linear Feet 2 document boxes
Collection Number: ms3011
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

John Fontaine (1792-1866), commission merchant and first mayor of Columbus, Georgia, married Mary Ann Stewart (1808-1852). Their children included Henrietta (1827-1857), Mary Elizabeth (1835-?), Benjamin Bruton (1838-1870), Theophilus (1842-1896), Francis (1844-1901), and George H. (1850-1904). In 1868, Benjamin Bruton Fontaine married Mary Elizabeth Shorter, daughter of James H. and Elizabeth Hargraves Shorter. They had two daughters, Mary (1871-1935) and Benjamin Bruton (1870-1952), who was called Bennie. Both daughters attended the Home School in Athens, Georgia circa 1883-1886.

King had returned to Columbus and in the summer of 1855 joined with James Meeler, a local carpenter, to construct a warehouse for "John Fontaine and others." Fontaine and his father-in-law, Charles Stewart, had operated a cotton warehouse business since 1829. Fontaine also served as mayor of the city and invested in the river trade, a textile mill, and land - extensive acreage in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. By 1859 he owned "two plantations on the river and sev[era]l hundred negroes and plenty of money." His fever-season home in Summerville, on the hills west of Girard, sheltered his family during the summer, and his brick Greek revival house in town stood on Front Avenue across from his warehouse. --- Bridging Deep South Rivers, by John S. Lupold. Athens : University of Georgia Press, 2004.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, writings, business papers, and printed material. Most of the business correspondence concerns Stewart & Fontaine Co., merchants in Columbus, Georgia. The family and personal correspondence is from both the Shorter and Fontaine families. There is also some Civil war correspondence from Charles S. Shorter, George H. Shorter, and others who were probably their friends. The business paper include deeds, land grants and various accounts.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Fontaine family papers, ms3011, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2009 May 7.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Fontaine family
Georgia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Land grants.
Merchants -- Georgia.
Shorter family
Stewart & Fontaine Co. (Columbus, Ga.) -- Records and correspondence
Writings (document genre)

Related Collections in this Repository

Related materials available in the following collections of this repository: John Fontaine papers, ms2014.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Biographical information
12-12Correspondence - Family and Personal, 1822-1947
113Correspondence - George H. Fontaine
114Correspondence - Mary Elizabeth Shorter Fontaine
115Correspondence - Elizabeth Hargraves Shorter
116Correspondence - Family and Personal, Incomplete
21-4Correspondence - business, 1832-1895
25Correspondence - business, incomplete
31Correspondence, 1872-1887
32Correspondence, 1888-1890
33Correspondence, 1891-1926
34Correspondence, 1932-1945
26-7Empty envelopes, Calling cards
36Theophilus S. Fontaine journal, 1886
37Cilppings, 1896
39Invitations, 1870-1926
38Engagements book, 1904
29"The 2nd the Battle of Sharpsburg" by J. D. Bethune
210Home School, Diary by Benjamin Bruton Fontaine (Bennie), 1887, 1889
211Robert E. Lee and Civil War material
212Business Papers - Land-Alabama, 1834-1894
213Business Papers - Land Arkansas, 1872
214Business Papers - Land Georgia, Early County, 1830-1897
215Business Papers - Land Georgia, Lee County, 1830-1836
216Business Papers - Land Georgia, Muscogee County, 1832-1868
217Business Papers - Land Georgia, Stewart County, 1843-1875
218Business Papers - Land Texas, 1839-1863
219Business Papers - Accounts, 1830-1848
220Business Papers - Accounts, 1854-1888
221Business Papers - Plantation record-T. S. Fontaine, 1860
221Business Papers - Upper Place, Middle Place, Lower Place
222Printed material
310Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia flyer